President says Ramadan is a time for mercy, forgiveness, salvation
by Sumon Corraya

In Bangladesh, the holy month of fasting and prayer began yesterday. President Hamid prayed for the well-being of the country and its imams. For a young man, Ramadan is a time to cleanse life of its negative things. The authorities uncover cases of adulterated food for iftar with thousands of mangoes seized and destroyed.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Ramadan began yesterday in Bangladesh. Speaking on this occasion, Bangladeshi President M Abdul Hamid said that the holy month is a time “of self-restraint, self-rectification and forgiveness”.

In his message to fellow Muslims, the president also noted that "Ramadan is the month of Rahmat (mercy), Barkat (blessing), Maghfirat (forgiveness) and Najat (salvation). It offers us the unique opportunity to be closer to Allah and to achieve peace and forgiveness."

Mr Hamid went on to say that fasting, which distinguishes this period dedicated to prayer, "helps to establish cooperation, concord and brotherhood between rich and poor". He ended praying for the well-being of the country and its imams.

For Muslims, this period is a time of reflection on one's own existence and on good intentions to improve it.

"During Ramadan I purify myself through fasting and prayer,” said Rony Talkudar, a young Muslim who spoke to AsiaNews. “I cleanse the negative things from my life. I think it's the best time of the year dedicated to spirituality."

According to Rony, "all Muslims should follow the teachings of Ramadan and put them into practice in their lives. If we all achieve self-restraint, self-rectification and forgiveness, our country would be a better place to live in."

"Allah will bless me for my fasting, prayer and honest life,” said Musfikur Rahim, a student at a madrassa, (Qurʾānic school). “Ramadan is the best time to obtain God's mercy."

Still, Rony bemoans the fact that during Islam’s holy month, "some merchants tend to take advantage [of the situation] and increase the price of goods.

“In other Muslim countries the cost of goods is reduced,” he said, “but in Bangladesh it increases. The reason is that officials take bribes and [thus] boost criminal activities".

Evidence of widespread corruption is the seizure and destruction by police of thousands of adulterated mangoes in Dhaka yesterday.

The fact that some dishonest retailers sold such products did not surprise many people.

The authorities discovered that food destined for iftar was treated with dyes and oils. Iftar is the meal Muslims take to break the fast after sundown.

In the case of mangoes, certain substances were used to make the fruit more attractive to buyers even though they were bad for human health.